In a homeschooling house full of 7 kids & 3 guniea pigs....there is never a dull moment! A lot of people show genuine concern for us and want to know how we are doing, as the road we've left behind was not a pleasant one. So, here I am, to tell some of our stories...share some of our days...and open up a part of our world to you! Come join us on our journey so you won't miss the moments that take our breath away!
Friday, August 30, 2013
School is once again in session!
We did not intend to take a summer break, as we rarely do...but this year we had a lot of catching up to do and really couldn't afford to take a break over the summer. In life, things don't always go as planned, right? Well, of course not...so, we didn't school over the summer. With the move, we just couldn't and nothing happened in the time frame we expected it to, so one week turned into one month and one month turned into....you get the picture.
So, we moved and since we took majority of the summer off, we decided to take the time to set things up right. We FINALLY, for the first time since December of 2007, have a dedicated classroom. Not a we gave the dining room up for some school desks kind of classroom. I mean we have a full fledged classroom. The kind we used to lock ourselves into during school hours, the kind that we THRIVE in!! We just finished up our first week of school and let me tell you, while there were a few bumps in the road (aka issues with Dove) but we had an amazing week! Eagle thrives on routine and schedule. He functions so much better when things are neat, organized, routine and when he knows what is expected from him. The past few years have really been a struggle for him. I made him start third grade over near the end of his third grade year and he has struggled to catch up ever since. That is a decision I still stand behind as I have seen him grow through all of this, yes he has struggled but he has benefited from it so much it was definitely the best schooling decision I have ever made and I think he "knows" it. I feel that he knows he has grown and is better because of it. He started back to school a few weeks ago. We eased into a schedule, not working everyday and more so worked on routine rather than schedule because he doesn't take too well to sudden changes and it worked well for him. By our first "official" full day of school he knew what was expected of him and he has done fabulous. He has worked so very hard these past three weeks and while he is not as far as we had hoped he would be at this point, he as come very far and at the pace he is going..he will finish only a month later than we originally planned.
I wake up at 5-5:30 and start my day. This gives me a few hours to do a bit of cleaning, laundry and making sure things are ready for our day. Our school day starts promptly at 8:00am. Some days, Eagle starts at 7:00am. Each night, I prepare the work for the day ahead. Next week, I'm going to pull work for the week to try and make preparing at night a little less time consuming. It's important to have the days work out and ready for them before they start their day because otherwise, they will run off and play and then it's too hard to get them to refocus. They eat breakfast and may have a few minutes to play before school starts, but they know that they are expected to start school by 8 and they don't challenge that because they know that is what is expected of them. Macaw, Emu and Duckling stay busy with free time activities (activity bags, puzzles, etc) or busy work, or anything they can work independently on while I do instructional lessons with Eagle. Macaw and Emu are still waiting on their curriculum to arrive (it will be here Wednesday), but I have had a few things to start them with. Once I'm done with instructional lessons with Eagle, he works on independent lessons and projects while I do instructional lessons with Macaw. All this week, we have been finished with our school day by 12:30-1:00. We have completed all the lessons and optional work and have also done some supplemental activities as well. It's such a great feeling to have the time and dediation to do these extra things again. I really like to make sure they are truly "getting" the material and at times it felt like we just flew by the seat of our pants doing the minimum to get by because I didn't get to do the extra hands on supplemental activities the way we used to.
Wow! I honestly can not believe how fast the time goes. We have had a lot of changes going on in our lives. It is a time for new beginnings and it feels great! We have such a bright future ahead of us and we are settled and reorganized. It has been such a long time since our life has had any sort of organization and it feels good to be getting back to some of our old ways.
We relocated in July. It took a while for us to come to the decision to move because we moved quite a way from where we were. Not across country or anything, but to me it felt like it and I did leave my friends and my family to start a new life. It was hard to leave everything I knew and trusted after we spent the last few years building it. We are in a much safer place, though I will never feel safe from "Jailbird's" family...but overall, we are in a much better place...free from gunshots, gangs, thugs and the "ghetto" we came accustomed to. Our old area wasn't horrible, but those who were not used to it saw it as the worst. Some of my friends wouldn't go there, some wouldn't go after dark. If they would have stopped to realize I wouldn't truly raise my kids in a neighborhood where they weren't "safe" maybe they wouldn't have been so fearful, it's not like we were on the west side of town ;) Anyways, we have a much bigger house in an amazing neighborhood within such an exciting community. Our lives once again have order and purpose and we are much happier.
Dove has turned a YEAR old already!!! The kids have started back to school. Ahh....my life is still as chaotic as ever, but we are settling into a new schedule and I am excited to finally have time to blog and to know that I can give myself this time, the way I used to. I have so many posts in the works (our new classroom, our school weeks, our new organizational systems, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, allergies....) yes, I will be a very busy blogger. One thing I will strive so much harder to blog about is our school weeks. I still have a love of Calvert and will soon have four students using it!